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Preparing for the Visit to a Deciduous Forest

One of the field experiments you will carry out is to take readings of the temperature, sunlight and humidity in different areas, using a compass to determine your direction.

It is always a good idea to make a note of the weather on the day that you take your readings.

  • Is it windy? If it is, what do you think the effect of the wind will be on the temperature?

  • Is there much cloud cover? If there is, which environmental factors will be influenced by cloud cover?

You should choose five different areas in school grounds (see map at the bottom of this page). At each of these positions use a compass to find North and place an arrow on your map to indicate its direction.

The Compass

A compass

The red pointer is magnetic and is pointing to the North. You should turn the compass until the large, blue arrow is beneath the red pointer.

A compass

You now know the North direction which allows you to calculate South, West and East.

At each of these five positions you should also measure and record the temperature, the light reading and the humidity.

The Thermometer

A centigrade thermometer

To practise using a centigrade thermometer to measure the air temperature, take and record the temperature the five different areas you visit around the school.
(Record your readings in °C)

The Light meter

A light meter

Hold the light metre so that the light sensitive cell is pointing upward. Take the reading indicated by the pointer on the lower, horizontal scale.
(Record your readings as numbers. The light readings have no units. We use the term 'arbitrary units').

The Hygrometer

A hygrometer

Gently wave the hygrometer in the air and record the percentage humidity. (Note that you should not use the hygrometer when it is raining).
(Record your reading as a %. This tells you the percentage of water vapour in the air you are sampling).

Plan of the courtyard

The red crosses represent suggestions of the areas you could visit to take your readings

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